Mexico's Hot Banks
Mexico is the most active market for mergers and acquisitions in Latin America's banking industry. The country accounts for half the transactions in the region in the last 12 years. Latin America has seen $66.65 billion in bank M&A transactions since 1990. Today, nearly all of Mexico's banks are owned by international banks. Citibank's 2001 acquisition of Banamex, Mexico's second-largest bank, for $12.50 billion was the largest such deal in the region. In August 2002, the U.K.'s HSBC took over Bital, Mexico's fourth- largest bank, in a deal worth $1.14 billion. Spain's two largest banks, Banco Santander Central Hispano and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria own Mexico's other top banks. In Brazil, Latin America's biggest banking market, most M&A transactions now involve foreign banks selling to local acquirors. In November, Brazil's Banco Itaú bought up BBA Creditanstalt, a São Paulo wholesale bank, for $930 million.
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